The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Frances Fitzgerald, has agreed to meet with youth worker representatives to discuss the impact of budget cuts to vital youth services. SIPTU Sector Organiser, Darragh O’Connor, said: “The Minister has indicated she will meet with youth worker representatives. At this meeting we will be making clear to her that budget cuts to youth services are not only damaging to society but in the long run will cost more to the State than they save.” The decision of the Minister to meet with youth worker representatives comes as an ongoing protest campaign seeks to highlight the adverse effects of cuts in youth services. In their latest action, youth workers staged a symbolic funeral ceremony outside the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, Mespil Road, Dublin 4, to highlight the impact of funding cuts on services for young people on Tuesday, 7th May. The protest saw the delivery to the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs of a coffin full of letters from young people and their families who use the services of the Rialto Youth Project. Youth projects in Dublin are funded by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs via the City of Dublin Youth Services Board (CDYSB). In April these youth projects were informed that their funding allocation for 2013 was being reduced by on average 10%. SIPTU Youth Committee Vice Chairperson, Tina McVeigh, said: “Youth projects are at the coal face of breaking the cycle of deprivation and poverty. The cut of €1.3 million to Dublin youth projects will see disadvantaged communities struggle to support the welfare and development of young people. These cuts will only lead to increased child poverty, anti-social behaviour, substance abuse, crime, early school leaving and teenage pregnancy.” A recent INDECON report commissioned by the National Youth Council of Ireland highlighted that every €1 invested in youth work projects ultimately results in savings to the State of €2.22.